Am I now a twitcher? Thinking back to my birding this year I'm becoming inclined to say so. Perhaps I should be put under the bracket of 'occasional twitcher'. Much more justifiable. Although 'frequent dipper' may be more appropriate.
With a Short-Toed Eagle being regularly seen from Ashdown Forest for the last few days, and showing pretty well, how could I not go and see this mega? So a trip down yesterday, in short - failed. Miserably. No sign of the eagle and pretty much void of anything else of interest.
It's a mega, of course we tried again. An earlier start this morning and immediately things seemed more promising. Arriving in Long Car park shortly after eight, we picked up on two Woodlark, a male Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and a Stonechat. Already a deal better than before. News then came in that the Eagle was in a dead tree ten minutes away at Gill's Lap. Fifteen minutes later (thanks to a thoughtlessly slow truck) we pulled up. I left the car in some hurry, and... yep, it was there. Wow, what a bird! After a few minutes it left the tree showing off it's hugely impressive wingspan, before proceeding to disappear behind the trees. Mega, not just for its rarity level. Well worth the hours.
In the surrounding area we had more Stonechats, Redstarts and a couple of Buzzards. It took a bit of searching, but this was followed up by some good views of singing and 'parachuting' Tree Pipits.
Tree Pipit being my 200th British species! I'm calling the slump well and truly over.
You have my word this an Eagle...